Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I just got back from the IFCA Regional Conference held at Keizer Community Church. Dr. Art Azurdia, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of Pastoral Mentoring, at Western Seminary, was the Conference Speaker. I really appreciated today's message, but in a question and answer period Dr. Azurdia responded to a question giving these three matters as the greatest problems facing the evangelical church. I couldn't agree more with his list:

1. Lack of Scriptural Authority (Not bringing the Bible to bear on issues related to faith and practice)
2. Lack of Evangelical Priority (Lack of gospel focus; not Christ-centered)
3. Lack of Supernatural Power (A result of the first two problems)

A copy of today's sermon is available at Look for "IFCA Spring Regional Audio." Then look for Pt. 4. Great message on Hebrews 4:14-16!

Pastor Jerry


God Made Playdough said...

I'm sad I only got to hear today's message, but it was a great one. I hadn't thought about the sinlessness of Christ proving the amount of temptation He went through. We have never fully experienced temptation like He did because we always give in. I thought that was an interesting point.
For #2, I love that quote from Bridges to "preach the Gospel to yourself everyday". Have you read the Gospel Primer? If not, I highly reccomend it!
It was good to see you guys!

Anonymous said...

A.W.Tozer said that the greatest problem facing evangelical Christianity was the lack of worship. My wife and I just returned from an evangelical "worship" service this morning and were appalled at what we observed. For many evangelical churches it's become a rock concert... an entertainment hour. In fact, the first 45 minutes was nothing more than rock music while folks sipped away at their lattes and swayed to the music. When they butchered Amazing Grace, we had had enough. Needless to say, we'll never return. In my estimation what we were seeing was the thin edge of the wedge. I'm convinced it is going to get worse. Perhaps it's Romophobia (a fear of Catholic liturgy) and therefore an attempt to distance themselves from any sort of liturgy and ritual. But in fact, what they've done is simply exchanged one ritual for another. I had a distinctly empty feeling in that place... Ichabod comes to mind. And that is not the only time I've felt this way in evangelical churches. Worship is not a bible study nor is it forty-five minutes of singing. We have examples of how the Church has worshiped through two millennium. We have examples of how Israel worshiped. The espistle to the Hebrews tells us that this worship is patterned after heavenly worship and we do not see bible study, three-point sermons and rock concerts as giving glory to God. It's the way of Cain. We've gone our own way and decided that all that matters is the intent of our hearts rather than the commands He has given. He said He would build His Church and the gates of Hell would not prevail. Why we believe that Hell "did" prevail for fifteen hundred years until the Reformation is beyond me. Split after split after split has been the result of the Reformation as we have no authority to "rightly divide the Scriptures" and cannot agree amongst ourselves. The First Baptist Church down the street under the guidance of the Holy Spirit interprets the scriptures differently than the Full Gospel Church two blocks away. Why? Is the Holy Spirit so divided? Something is very wrong here and as I've already mentioned, I fear we've only just begun. Now some evangelical churches are having virtual reality services online. Hey, I don't even need to get out of bed. Just log on with my lap top and worship God from my bed. One evangelical church even offers baptism online. I get into my tub... have a friend dunk me under and the minister, connected by webcam, says the prayer. Voila...I'm baptized. Where will this all end? Needless to say, we're looking for a church with roots in antiquity and with sure foundations (Yes... Jesus is the rock upon which it is built but we're not accepting the shifting sand of this evangelical mess we see around us). I know of only two churches that could have such: the Catholic and the Orthodox Church. Perhaps this is where the Spirit still resides. One thing I know for a certainty. We will never return to what we left this morning.